Satellite TV Venture Launched in Japan

Associated Press

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and Softbank Corp., Japan's largest distributor of personal computer software, on Tuesday officially kicked off their JSkyB satellite broadcasting venture.

The new company, whose full name is Japan Sky Broadcasting Co., will begin full-scale broadcasts in Japan by April 1998.

JSkyB, a 50-50 venture of the two companies, was first announced in June. It will begin experimental broadcasts with 12 channels in April 1997 and increase them to 150 channels by the time full broadcasting begins in 1998.

Murdoch, chairman of News Corp., will serve as chairman of JSkyB. Softbank President Masayoshi Son, president of JSkyB, said the venture will set up more than 10 companies to provide programming, with Softbank and News Corp. each retaining 10% shares in the companies.

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